Bamboo Creative OUTREACH – sharing knowledge and skills to developing regions

Developing regions are developing FAST – moving more and more towards cement and tin/tile (and air-conditioners) and AWAY from traditional natural materials… Supposedly “modernising”… and moving away from “the land” while we ‘westerners’ are going the Opposite way, (now having hindsight and realisation of the beauty, peace and simplicity we lost through Industrialisation). And while WE yearn for more natural and unique handcrafted lives, THEY/people in developing countries – seem to be or ARE gearing towards more mass production and consumerism.

Ordinarily, people in developing countries live on about 20% of the consumption rate of ‘westerners’ (including electricity).. but soon the energy needs and generation of waste in developing countries where more than 70% of the world’s population lives are going to be off-the-chart .

Eastern cultures have plenty of Time, but no money; Western cultures have plenty of Money (comparatively), but no Time… If we could bring together our needs, and make a mutually beneficial solution that can be sustained and bring about a greater sense of family… if we could indeed build a bridge and a trust (legally or in good-faith) – I don’t know what parameters NEED to be set except that what one would ordinarily spend at a commercial operation while on “holiday” would outweigh the cost of some preliminary social investment to create a trial level… Perhaps we could create an enterprise which surpasses our capitalistic needs and desires and which serves us at a more truly human level.

So let’s invest together, in a way where/in which we may learn and benefit from each other and have experiences which fulfill our SOUL. Recall some of what our western culture has lost in its extreme Individualism… and return together to a place of sharing and peace; that we may give some hope to what may continue to evolve and ways we can Thrive as a human species.


Restoring the balance…

Unite the Tribes

Through International collaboration, UNITE THE TRIBES is geared towards sharing knowledge and resourcing tribal/indigenous people to build/form homestay networks by bringing the finance/capital needed for them to build local sustainable livelihoods; thereby encouraging them not to sell their land to developers.

There are many factors that affect uptake of sustainable building, resource use and technologies in developing regions. One major one being that banks won’t lend money to people unless their house is made of cement (has a resale value). It’s not surprising then that bamboo is perceived as a “poor-person’s” building material (or just for the very rich). The local wage and current currency exchange rates also have a huge effect on affordability of any kind of material and technology not subsidised or natively available.

By sharing important knowledge and assisting developing countries to finance sustainable enterprises through creating sharing complimentary relationships which preserve local cultures and reduce the potential impacts of “economic development” we can help to slow the manic train of development and resource exploitation.

In most developing countries, knowledge is lacking about making Bamboo a viable building material because it usually only lasts 5-7 years before insects demolish it. Most ‘modern’ treatment methods for preserving bamboo are too expensive for people in developing counties living on local wages. What if it could be made affordable? We can share the value of how bamboo can be utilised and adapted to the “modern” environment.

We NEED to be sharing this technology with developing countries and making partnerships to maximally AFFECT and bring about CHANGE immediately and effectively. I’m referring to not only preservation methods for bamboo but also low-tech sustainable technologies such as water pumping and storage, waste management and diversified food production.

At the primary level, this project facilitates sponsorship of individuals from within Indonesia and other developing countries to attend and learn practically about renewable technologies and natural building techniques that can aid rural upliftment, improve living conditions, are affordable, reduce pollution, and help people to earn income through sustainable livelihoods (pumping water without electricity, low-cost water storage, renewable electricity generation, bamboo preservation, earthship building and zero-waste systems). See our Social Fellowship program.

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I have a promise to a family in the Napsan area of Palawan to bring low-tech affordable water technology to their tribal village area – where there is so much water but they have no electricity and no way to pump it up the hill so every day are carrying water which is impractical and unnecessary… My plan while living with this family was to build a little homestay with them to give them a source of income they could utilise instead of having to go to the city to work… but the termites were phenomenal (what brought me to Bali to learn about bamboo treatment). But first, they need running water…

The biggest issue for the families living in this area is WATER.
Even though there is plenty of pristine water close-by, the families carry it up to the houses manually each day in gallons. We purchased polypipe and tried to set up a gravity-feed from a nearby spring but the head wasn’t high enough (also there’s no electricity so an electric pump wasn’t feasible).
Last year in October Richard Tercio joined us from the Philippines to learn renewable technologies at the Bali Appropriate Technology Institute with Rus Alit and we are planning an OUTREACH trip to Philippines (Palawan) to Salacot in November/December this year to visit, share this technology with others in need (hopefully) and learn a bit more about rattan and nipa thatching and hopefully help set up a bamboo treatment bath!!

Become part of this project and further our goal of sharing renewable technologies and knowledge of treatments methods for making bamboo a long-term sustainable resource in developing countries. low-cost low-tech bamboo preservation and treatment processes for village-scale sustainable bamboo developments.

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Previous Outreach:
Taking solar lamps to families of the batak tribe in Palawan, Philippines… Finding a need and finding a friend who wants to help and have a unique experience…

This is me and my awesome friend Sameh, who I met on the Tacloban Earthship Volunteer Build in Philippines in 2015 after Typhon Yolanda/Hyan. Sameh works for an AID organisation in Kuwait and asked me to help him take solar lights to some “poor people in a remote area” of Palawan (where I was living with my daughter). I had just been on a visit to the Batak Tribe area for their annual Wild Bee Honey harvesting festival… and actually the tribal elder requested that I bring solar lights on my next visit there… so it was a kinda fated destiny. It was Sameh’s vacation time from work and he wanted to see some beautiful places and help people (don’t you love that…) and it was so great to hang out and learn more about each others culture and religions… I love his view on religion and Islam and what the Holy Quran says about some of the things overlooked by our western culture… I organised things and we visited the tribal area and distributed solar lights bought locally in the town of Puerto Princessa.

2016 – Taking solar lamps to families of the batak tribe in Palawan, Philippines… Finding a need and finding a friend who wants to help and have a unique experience…

shows me with Sameh my friend who does "aid" work, even on his vacation. Taken in Tacloban during the Earthship build

I have reservations now about the quality of solar lights and what will happen to the batteries when they die… as well as the plastic parts etc. And recently I have come across POWERWELLS who are developing small solar systems using recycled laptop batteries for remote communities and up cycled torches (bamboo) which cost around $1 to produce. These systems stand to create much less waste and enable more people to “charge” devices and to make solar lights themselves. Our upcoming Outreach Adventure will be to bring this technology (as well as training in maintenance of solar systems) to our partner community and, make a structure from natural/recycled materials where the system can be located centrally or in its purposeful place in the community… We are currently working on the incentive of Ecobrick Exchange…. to reward communities for taking measures to dispose of waste and share knowledge and education about Ecobrick building.

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